Photography by Philippe Briand & Jeanneau
Award-winning yacht designer and naval architect Philippe Briand has announced the latest model for his ongoing collaboration with Jeanneau on its Sun Odyssey range, which the French yacht builder has been producing since 2012.
The Sun Odyssey 440, or SO 440, is a 13.4-metre (44-feet) with a range of innovative features spanning layout and naval architecture, which are designed to add comfort and ease to the experience of owning and operating a boat.
“Almost all our clients for large sailing yachts were at one time owners of smaller, production boats,” said Briand on the SO 440’s announcement.
“As yacht designers and naval architects, we see it as our responsibility to steward the next generation of yacht owners through the process of enjoying life on the water, by making ownership of smaller, more affordable boats enticing.”
He continued “This philosophy permeates every detail in the design choices we make, to improve every step of the experience onboard, particularly with these new features on the Jeanneau SO 440.”
The SO 440’s hull takes on a form inspired by scow-hulled Mini 6.50s, said Briand, which have squared-off forward sections to add space by keeping the beam as wide as possible towards the bow without losing performance. The result is a generous owner’s cabin with a volume that is remarkable for a boat in the size range. Briand said that the increasing pressure from boat owners to add special features to the stern of boats is what led him to create this design feature.
To enhance flow between the foredeck and stern, Briand ensured there were no barriers impeding circulation. On the decks, aft of amidships and running to the helms, the surface gently slopes down towards the stern, removing the need for a step. Not only does this create a visually pleasing improvement of flow, it improves safety by removing tripping hazards.
As a way to assist those at the helm, Briand created a novel, patented “transformer” cockpit backrest specifically for the SO 440. The backrest protects those within the cockpit and doubles up to raise the vantage point of the helmsman to assist in navigation through an ingenious pivoting movement.
As a central point of social activity when underway or at anchor, the cockpit also includes handy features including a folding-leaf table with concealed but portable fridge, which can be used for trips ashore. There is also a concealed, portable barbecue and cockpit sink.
Everything is simplified on the SO 440,” concluded Briand of his philosophy in designing the boat. “I have put comfort and practicality before all else. In general, automotive design is becoming more comfortable and technology is more ergonomic, so sailors expect boat design to be no different. In the SO 440, I tried to use every wasted space and make it a part of life onboard. This is a design that I believe will still look fresh and current even in a decade’s time.”
Jeanneau and Briand will be revealing more details about the new SO 440 model at the Cannes Yachting Festival next month.